My pet rabbit makes lots of black pellets like that every day!
There is very little elemental Lithium in a Lithium-ion battery. It's not the Lithium that is burning, it's the electrolyte.Iron also doesn't catch fire easily the way lithium does.
I was just taking umbrage at your use of the word "lithium" (an element on the periodic table) to inaccurately describe a type of battery that is made up of a complex cocktail of multiple components.Poke a hole in any cell phone battery or EV battery and there's fire. That's all I'm getting at.
And a bucket of gasoline will go up in flames if you drop a match in it. The reason Li-ion is used for EVs and not NiCad, Lead-Acid or NiMH is that it has a higher energy density. The challenge with any energy storage device is that if treated wrong, it can release that energy in a violent manner. Sure Li-ion batteries can fail catastrophically but that is either the result of a manufacturing defect or external damage like you said.OK, but you do the same to an older NiCad or NIMH battery or even a lead acid battery and you might get sparks and a puff of smoke, maybe even a pop from the hydrogen in the lead acid battery, but then it's over. Li-ion is the one that's still being worked on to make them less combusty. Lots of things will spark when shorted, it's li-ion in specific (and yes, not every variety, but the variety used in phones and BEVs) that spark but then also combust when punctured. I'm a big fan of EVs, but we're still in the early days.
I knew 5 minutes after I posted that I would get called out on it!Actually, it usually won’t. The match will just go out. You have to hold the match OVER the gasoline to light the fumes.
I can neither confirm or deny doing extensive testing on this when I was 10 years old…
But your point is well taken…
LOTS of things can be abused into catastrophic failure.
I’m aware of all that. My point was, even though these batteries are referred to as “lithium”, that’s not the main ingredient. By weight there is far more copper and aluminum.This isn't entirely true. There isn't supposed to be any, but it is possible to plate out elemental lithium into a Li+ battery. I've done it. It's a sneaky bastard that gets you later on when you least expect it.
And before you say, "Well that's rare..." that's the point. External damage is an obvious cause, but there are several other different mechanisms and failures that will let the watts out of the balloon.